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Delhi contests home ministry notification, HC hearing on Friday

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court, challenging the union home ministry’s May 21 notification.  The notification maintained that Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung has discretionary powers for appointments and transfers to key bureaucratic posts in the capital. Delhi government mentioned the matter before a division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, which posted the hearing for Friday. Challenging the “constitutional validity” of the notification, the city government sought its quashing by the high court.

The high court bench also posted for Friday a similar plea filed by law student Vibhor Anand. It challenged the home ministry notification and contended the appointment of senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting chief secretary by the Delhi Lt. Governor as “illegal”.

“There is already a similar petition filed by the Delhi government. We will hear both on Friday,” the bench said. The petitions, filed within days of a high court order terming the May 21 notification as “suspect”, have contended that it was “ultra vires” of the constitutional provisions, i.e. Article 239 AA (4), and that the Center does not have the jurisdiction over matters connected with services of bureaucrats in the national capital.

“Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain informed the high court that the Center had also approached the Supreme Court to challenge the high court order that termed ‘suspect’ its notification barring Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch (ACB) from acting against its officers in criminal offences.” Law student Vibhor Anand in his PIL said: “Delhi is neither a full state nor a union territory and Delhi is governed by Articles 239-AA and 239-AB of Constitution of India (which deals with union territories) introduced by a constitutional amendment in 1991.”

“As per Section 41 of the GNCT Act, 1991, the Lieutenant Governor does not have any discretion to appoint Gamlin as the chief secretary and other such posts, nor any special law granted him this discretion,” the petition read.

The petitioner also said that the Lt. Governor is “dutybound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers and the chief minister in all matters that concern the legislative assembly as per Article 239 AA (4) of the Constitution of India and Section 41 of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.”

The petition highlighted a Supreme Court constitutional bench judgment in which the phrase “aid and advice” as used in Article 239-AA has been interpreted “to mean that the aid and advice of the council of ministers and the chief minister is binding on the Governor, it is not just advisory.”

The turf war between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung over the control of key bureaucratic appointments was sparked by the appointment of Gamlin as acting chief secretary of Delhi by the Lt. Governor on May 15.

(With inputs from IANS)

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30 Doorstep Services Offered By Delhi Government AAP

Delhi government offers 30 more doorstep services

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AAP brings 70 doorstep services for delhi residents. IANS

People living in Delhi can now avail 30 more services at their doorstep, including adding members in ration card, paying the motor vehicle tax and getting a DTC pass, taking the total number of such services to 70. The second phase of the doorstep delivery of public services, the official launch of which is yet to take place, has been rolled out.

Residents can dial 1076 and get the service by paying Rs 50 extra, an official from Delhi’s Administrative Reforms told IANS. The new services include booking a tour package through Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corp.

In September 2018, the Delhi government had launched the doorstep delivery of 40 public services to make things easy for the common man. In the first phase, people got certificates of marriage, caste, domicile, income, births and deaths among others at their doors.

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal plans to offer 100 services delivered at people’s doorsteps. IANS

Driving license, new water or sewer connection and disconnection were also provided under the scheme which functions between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. through a ‘Mobile Sahayak’. The government had planned to roll out more services by February but they got delayed.

“Once the second phase is on track, steps to start the third phase will be initiated,” the official said. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has plans to have at least 100 services delivered at people’s doorsteps, the official said.

Also Read: Telegram Update Adds Ability to Send Silent Messages, Animated Emojis

Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi told IANS: “The plan initially was to take things online but we realised that people find it more easy to call a number and get the services instead of doing things online.” The tenure of the Kejriwal government will end on February 2020. (IANS)